To be or not to be… This is the week when we start getting the final answers on the 2018 season.
* By winning 3 of 4 from the Reds the Nats did the absolute minimum they had to do to remain on the fringes of the NL East race. As feared, the Phills and Braves had little trouble with the Marlins and Mets respectively.
* The Nats have to find a way to win 3 of 4 from the Braves, anything less and Rizzo should really admit that it’s not happening this year and try hard to get under the luxury tax threshold.
* The bullpen had a rare easy time of it with a 1 run lead yesterday but with Doolittle still out and the recent deletions, the pen feels very thin and shaky. The Nats are taking a flier on Greg Holland who is only a year away from some good results; it’s a long-shot, but it’s the appropriate move. You can’t be a contender and send Jimmy Cordero out there.
* The rotation going into the Atlanta series looks a bit frightening. We will need to try and find a way to win games started by Jefrey Rodriguez, Tommy Milone and Gio Gonzalez.
* The offense is beginning to fire on all cylinders with Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy finally healthy and contributing mightily and with Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon continuing to perform at All-Star levels and with Matt Adams chipping in with the re-emergence of Bryce Harper is a most welcome sight.
* Trea Turner continues to be Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. With some exceptional games sprinkled in with some quiet games. Trea is still searching for that elusive consistency.
* The next couple of weeks will be a race to stay in the race while hoping to get Stephen Strasburg and Sean Doolittle back for a real run.
* It looks like the Phills had a very good trade deadline adding nice pieces in Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilson Ramos to help stretch their lineup. We shouldn’t take too much away from their demolition of the Marlins but they may in fact be a legitimate contender given their comfortable lead over the National.
* Another race to keep our eye on is the wild card race. We are only 4.5 games out but there are a bunch of teams ahead of us.
* By hook or by crook we have arrived at the point of no return. In previous years we were starting to count down the magic number, this year we are trying to barge our way back into the race. It can be fun.